AHL Game Night 11/15: Bears at Falcons

Karri Ramo is only just barely 20 years old and he's already this good. Wrap your mind around that.

HER-2
SPR-3 (SO)

Ramo stopped 37 of 39 shots faced in regulation/overtime before stopping 4 of 5 penalty shots to lift Springfield to a 3-2 shootout victory. Ramo improves to 5-3-0 this season and has won 3 of his last 4 starts. The Falcons were outshot 39-24, but Ramo made up the difference.

Justin Keller and Andy Delmore had the Falcons' goals. Daniel Corso, Matt Smaby and, yes, Ramo himself had assists. Corso and David Spina were Springfield's two scorers in the shootout. Ramo was named first star and Delmore third star of the game.

First Period
SPR Keller, (5) (Corso, Smaby), 16:52

Second Period
HER Hendricks, (6) (Arsene), 9:14

Third Period
HER Giroux, (7) (Hendricks, Fehr), 13:43
SPR Delmore, (4) (Ramo), 16:05

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
HER-Fehr
SPR-Corso, Spina

With tonight's win, Springfield moves to a game under .500 for the fourth time this season. Springfield faces the Toronto Marlies on Friday night at home with the opportunity to get back to .500 for the first time since the second game of the season.

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

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NHL ability?

What do you think is a realistic NHL projection for him? He's obviously played well so far in the AHL and he put up some serious numbers overseas as well.

With Koshechkin, Ramo, and Helenius in the system, who gets the nod? I don't know much about Helenius other than reading really good things about him, and both Ramo and Koshechkin are playing like no question #1 keepers to this point in their careers.

If any of these guys play up to their potential, that leaves at the very least 1 of them who won't have a spot, maybe 2, depending on how they want to handle the possibility of having 2 NHL no question starters on the roster.

Any input?

If it shakes out that way

If it shakes out that way that you have three NHL starting caliber goaltenders, which is unlikely, then it's a good problem to have. File that one under, "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

I will say this about Ramo, he just turned 20 a few months ago and he's already grossly outplayed an NHL veteran in Burke in Springfield. I mean, it's not even close who has been the better goaltender. He's 5-3-0 right now with a team that is struggling in front of him. He's stealing wins for a team that gets outshot by a wide margin every single night. You put him behind a Lightning defense that rarely gives up 30 shots over the past couple of years once he's ready, and he could be making some big money in the NHL.

I wish I was his agent.

How long?

Thanks for the input Pete. I'll ask more questions:

How long before he gets his shot in the NHL? I don't think they'd bring him up to be a backup behind Denis, since that seems like he'd be put in a role below his ability. I would think they'd want to keep him in the AHL to get starter minutes until he's ready to take over the starter spot on the big club.

But the Denis contract has 2 more years after this season (I believe), so that seems like an awful long time to leave him in the minors, especially if he keeps playing like this. They obviously don't want to pay Denis that money to be a backup, so I guess they trade him, and sign a cheap backup?

Holmqvist, I believe, is on

Holmqvist, I believe, is on a one year deal, so I wouldn't be surprised if they toy with the idea of making Ramo the backup in Tampa next season. You can't just throw him to the wolves at 21-22 and expect him to be your #1 so yes, at some point he's going to have to be the backup to get his feet wet and Denis will need to be the mentor.

Again, file that all under "Good problem to have." Considering this franchise has never drafted and cultivated a full-time NHL starting goaltender (and that the closest they ever came was Zac Bierk), just getting Ramo to that point will be a huge accomplishment.

That's what I was thinking...

... or even (assuming contracts are done) having Koshechkin and Ramo battle for the Tampa backup position like it appeared Holmqvist and Norrena were going to do this pre-season. Then flip them from time to time to make sure they're getting action.

Andy Rogers

Does this player actually exist or is he just a myth ? BTW Ramo played one helluva game last night. They stole 2 points from a far more talented team (8-0 on the road going in) with the help of Cassivi's 5 hole and Spina's sweet move in the shootout. Scoob in Spfld.

Sypek speculated Rogers is

Sypek speculated Rogers is down with a groin injury. Hopefully it is nothing to do with his ankle. It's a shame too, because he was very solid in the games I've seen him in, more solid and more consistent in his own zone than any other d-man in the lineup.

BTW, I read on the Masslive forum that Egener has really been playing well in the last week or two. I caught them in that horrific debacle in the first game against Portland where nobody really looked all that hot. What do you think Scoob? I think the depth chart is changing down in Springfield and O'Brien is definitely moving down but I'm not sure how the other three guys really stack up yet.

Rogers: It's a hip

Feaster isn't too pleased with the Rogers situation - as he stated in the Trib today. Tired of him not being on the ice.

"We are very concerned, and what the young man has to understand, because he has a propensity for being injured, is that he has to prepare himself every day to be ready," Feaster said. "I'm getting a little tired of our top draft picks not here playing."

With OB, I know he's hurt from the Kanko hit, which Kanko was suspended for. I know he wasn't playing terribly well before the injury.

BTW... Helenius is now out for the year, according to the Trib. http://www.tbo.com/sports/lightning/MGBQYHJOKUE.html

Re: Falcons

Kanko's suspension was well deserved.He really nailed O'Brien from behind and got 5 for boarding. In fact Egener challenged him as he was going off at the bench area but cooler heads prevailed. As far as last night's game Keller scored on a breakaway faking Cassivi out of his jock with a backhander. Delmore tied it on blast from just inside the blueline that went 5 hole on Cassivi. On the whole I thought that the Falcons played a disciplined defensive game against a pretty good club that controlled the play about 75% of the time. Smaby and Egener both played well last night (the Bears can really fly for an AHL team) and I suppose the only issue with them making the show is whether they have the wheels as they certainly have the size. I know he isn't really a prospect but this fellow Dufresne may have been the best Dman out there last night consistently getting the puck out of the zone when the Bears were putting pressure on (as they were most of the night). Just as an aside, the best player on the ice last night IMO was Eric Fehr. I believe he's a first round pick of the Caps and as they are in the Lightning's division you may be seeing him sooner rather than later. He has 18 pts in 13 games for the Bears is 6'4" and can move. Scoob

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